Buying a police scanner

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by KA8ZAW, Apr 16, 2018.

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  1. KA8ZAW

    KA8ZAW Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hello everyone and thanks, in advance, for any help you may give. I live in a rural county in NW Ohio. The four radio systems ( county sheriff, city police in my town, county fire and county EMS ) are in the process of moving from high band to a Marx system. Some have converted, like the sheriff, and others are in the process. I want to purchase a hand-held but do not know which to buy. There are no radio stores in our county, the closest being in Toledo, 35 miles away. No one in those stores has a clue as to our new system. My purchase will, therefore, be from the Internet. Any suggestions on a good radio? Also, how do I handle these conversions when the other departments eventually go to Marx? Quite confusing. Anyway, thanks again for your help and suggestions. 73, Jeff. KA8ZAW
  2. KV6O

    KV6O Ham Member QRZ Page

    Your best bet is to get familiar with Radio Reference - they track the systems the scanning public want to listen to:

    The MARCS system appears to be a Statewide, P25 based system.

    You'll have to do more research as to the talkgroups you want to monitor, whether they are encrypted or not, and what towers you can hear from your QTH.

    There are lots of P25 Phase I scanners on the market.
    W4RAV, N5CEY and KB2SMS like this.
  3. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    There are new systems (700 MHZ) in this area that are encrypted not aware of a scanner that will work. Use an online service called Broadcastify which does a rebroadcast of some of those systems it's something of an alternative. For other monitoring use a Uniden Home Patrol I which does a great job on an outdoor antenna.
  4. KL7KN

    KL7KN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Do want to use this mobile - is it legal in your justification to have a scanner in the vehicle?

    A $20 dongle (SDR) and some free software will get you the ability to listen your local, unencrytped P-25 system.

    If the local systems are encrypted, don't bother.

    Good luck.
    K3XR likes this.
  5. KD9KSO

    KD9KSO Well-Known Member QRZ Page

    AOR has come out with a new AR8200 that is P25 capable. Hard to find and big bucks, but it is top of the line. I had a MkII several years ago but sold it for an ICOM RE-20 because it had dual watch. Unfortunately, the audio really sucked on it.
  6. N3DT

    N3DT Ham Member QRZ Page

    KV6O nailed it. Go to radio reference and lookup your area, ask some questions. You will get answers, but P25 programming is not for the faint of heart or novices. You will undoubtedly have to download a program for a modern scanner which will cost in the $3-400 range. The program from RR will cost a $15 subscription. And yes, if it's encrypted, forget it.
  7. KX0Z

    KX0Z Ham Member QRZ Page

    As said check on radio reference to see what kind of system is in use. Also check the forums to see if there is any discussion about the radio system in your area. I use a Whisler WS1040 here. While its fairly daunting to program manually, I use a program called Win500 and its much much easier to do that way. I think its 30 dollar one time fee for a registration key.. Well worth the money..
  8. KE0CAA

    KE0CAA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Look up the Uniden Home Patrol line and pick the one you like best. There are updates available every monday that will update the talkgroup database but the updates are by no means required. Their the easiest scanner to use because you either connect a gps receiver or punch in your zip code and it will start scanning the various services in your area. I have the Uniden BCD436HP which is the handheld version and it rocks. Goes just about everywhere with me and will run a solid 8hrs on 3 rechargeable standard AA batteries.
    KX0Z likes this.
  9. KA8ZAW

    KA8ZAW Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hello everyone. Thanks for your input. KL7KN in Ohio it is legal to have a scanner in your car. I checked radio reference but their info did not list the new frequencies. I will keep trying. 73, Jeff
  10. W4POT

    W4POT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    AA6LK likes this.

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